It's very cold this morning — freezing, which is 0ºC, near the house, and that means it's probably several degrees colder out in the vineyard. It's my day to do the morning walk, and then today is the day we've picking for raking leaves. It will be frosty work. We need to get it done before the rains return.
Meanwhile, yesterday I went shopping in Saint-Aignan's newest grocery store. It's basically a big produce market stocked with local products. It also has a selection of meats, cheeses, and wines. That's my kind of place. I bought celery (stalks), flat green beans, red onions, escarole for salad, and a cucumber we'll use to make raïta yogurt sauce to have with the rest of the lamb curry at lunchtime. I also picked up some saucisses de Toulouse and some jambon blanc cut into cubes I can use like smoked pork lardons. And a couple of local cheeses, pictured here.
One of the cheeses, the square one, is a goat cheese called un pavé de Betz, and it's made with raw (unpasteurized) goat's milk. The other is called un Neuville, a cow's milk cheese (the round one) made from pasteurized milk. The goat's milk cheese has a light coating of ash, which is a common coating for goat cheeses around here. The cow's milk cheese is coated with cracked black peppercorns. Both are really good — you'll notice that I cut into them yesterday afternoon.
Both cheeses come from towns that are within 30 or 40 miles from Saint-Aignan. One, Betz-le-Château, is southwest of us, and the other, Montoire-sur-le-Loir, is to the northwest. I took close-up photos of the cheeses to show what the cheese really looks like. Above is the Neuville, and below is the pavé de Betz. Sorry you can't have tastes of each...
I would love it if somebody could tell me how Betz in pronounced locally — is it [beh]? Or [bess]? Or just like it look: [betz]? There's a town north of Paris named Betz, and it's pronounced [beh] according to one of my dictionaries. And then there's the city of Metz, where I worked as a teacher for a year way back when, and it's pronounced [mess].